Augmented Reality Glasses Make Food Look Big So Dieters Eat Less, Researchers Say

Scientists Test Effectiveness Of Wacky-Looking Weight-Loss Glasses

Talk about a "see food" diet. In building new weight-loss glasses, a Japanese research team has turned to the science of augmented reality to help dieters drop pounds. The idea is to “trick” the brain into thinking food is bigger than it is—so it seems you’re eating more than you really are.

The heart of the glasses is an image processing system that not only increases the apparent size of food but also recognizes the eater’s hand to make it appear the same, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Does it work? To find out, the researchers conducted a study in which people ate cookies while wearing the videocamera-equipped glasses. On average, the people ate 9.3 percent less than people not wearing the glasses, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun.

“We found that if we enlarge the size of the cookie 50 percent, consumption become[s] 10 percent lower,” Dr. Michitaka Hirose, a professor at the University of Tokyo, told The Huffington Post in an email.

“Recent psychological studies have revealed that the amount of food consumed is influenced by both its actual volume and external factors during eating,” the researchers wrote in their study. “Our results suggest that this augmentation can control the perception of satiety and food intake.”

The research team's findings are scheduled to be presented at the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, held in Austin, Texas in May.

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